Myth: Copyright Theft, Apple Stole GUI from Xerox PARC Alto
GUI Theft Myth Variations
There are many variations on the “Steve Jobs stole the GUI concept from XEROX PARC” myth. These are actual quotes seen around the web:
Myth: “Apple was copying the GUI design and mouse after seeing it in action at Xerox, several years before it actually paid Xerox for the Alto GUI design. Doesn’t really sound like Xerox let Apple copy it to me!” (False)
Myth: “Everybody stole from everybody. Apple being the first who stole from Xerox.” (False)
Myth: “EVERYONE stole the mouse/GUI from Xerox – Apple, Amiga, IBM OS/2, and Windows.” (False)
Myth: “It was the Star computer that Xerox created with the GUI that Steve Jobs lifted.” (False)
All of these variations are false, as Apple received permission from Xerox PARC and compensated them for the access to the internal PARC Alto GUI prototype.
Note that the Xerox Star Workstation (Xerox 8010 Information System) was introduced in 1981, two years after the Apple visit and one year after Apple IPO, which Xerox benefited from.
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